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Register Trademark UK
While it is not required by law, it is a good idea to register the name of your business as a trademark. In the event that another business tries to use the same or similar name, you will have legal recourse to stop it. A trademarked name marks all of your products and services as yours and no one else's and can also protect you from counterfeit products.
When you register your trade mark, you’ll be able to:
· take legal action against anyone who uses your brand without your permission, including counterfeiters
· put the ® symbol next to your brand - to show that it’s yours and warn others against using it
· sell and license your brand
It is often misunderstood that registering a company name or product with Companies House covers it as a trademark as well. But unfortunately a little bit more groundwork is needed. It must be registered with the Intellectual Property Office (IPO) too.
It’s a good idea to check that the website domain name of your proposed trade mark is available. Though it’s important to mention that if someone else owns the website domain name of your proposed trade mark this won’t stop you from being able to register your business name as a trade mark.
Avoid being too literal with the trade mark name as anything too descriptive will be flatly rejected. A trade mark cannot include a famous name or existing brand without written permission. One of the simplest ways to ensure a successful trade mark name application is to create an entirely unique name or word, these are regarded as coined words.
On applying to the IPO you’ll need to provide details of what you want to register e.g. a word, slogan or illustration as well as the trade mark classes you want to register for, e.g. class 1: chemicals or class 43: food and drink services. The UK’s trade mark classification system is divided between goods in classes 1-34 and services in classes 35-45.
The IPO offers a free search engine of both UK and Community trade marks. In the event you find any identical trade marks and they are registered for goods or services similar to or identical to ones you want to trade mark then this could pose problems.
However, there are ways around this, particularly if you’re prepared to send a letter of consent to the existing trade mark holder or apply to revoke the trade mark if it is more than five years old and unused in the relevant classification.
All Rights Reserved
The phrase "All rights reserved" is a copyright formality which indicates that the holder of copyright has reserved, or holds for its own use, all the rights provided under copyright laws. These include the right to publish the work, to make derivative works of it, to distribute it, to make profit from it, to license a number of these rights to other people, and to forbid these uses by any non-authorized people, thus being entitled to take legal action against infringement.
The phrase originated in the 1910 Buenos Aires Copyright Convention signed between the United States and most South and Middle American countries. Article 3 of the Convention granted copyright in all signatory countries to a work registered in any signatory country, as long as a statement "that indicates the reservation of the property right" appeared in the work. The phrase "all rights reserved" was not specified in the text, but met this requirement.
Other copyright treaties like the Universal Copyright Convention (UCC) 1952 and Berne Convention did not require this formality. The UCC adopted the © symbol as an indicator of protection. The Berne Convention rejected formalities altogether in Article 4 of the 1908 revision. However, because not all Buenos Aires signatories were members of Berne or the UCC, and in particular the United States did not join UCC until 1955, a publisher in a Buenos Aires signatory seeking to protect a work in the greatest number of countries between 1910 and 1952 would use both the phrase "all rights reserved" and the copyright symbol.
The requirement to add the "all rights reserved" notice became essentially obsolete on August 23, 2000, when Nicaragua became the final member of the Buenos Aires Convention to also become a signatory to the Berne Convention. Today all members of the Buenos Aires Copyright Convention are also member of the Berne Convention. The Berne Convention states that unless explicitly stated otherwise, all rights are reserved. Even though the phrase "all rights reserved" has no legal significance today, it is still used with almost all copyright notices. The only practical function is that of a warning that the author realizes he has a copyright and he really means to keep it.
Copyright Free Images
A copyright-free image is known as the one that the photographer allows any individual to use. The photographer, or the owner of the image, however, probably still own a copyright on the image or photo, but they simply have granted permission for the photo to be used by others. Those utilizing the copyright-free image are not permitted to sell the image to another party.
For searching for a copyright-free image, it is likely that the internet would be the most effective tool to start. Any photo or image which is taken by the Government or by those who are regarded as the public domain are considered to be copyright-free images; as a result, they can be utilized freely by any person. There are also online websites dedicating themselves to supply for copyright-free images. Although the website service is free of charge, the user may be required to register in these databases.
For those types of websites, there may be certain rights involved in each type of copyright-free image that is provided by the copyright owner or the photographer. Therefore, it is of great importance for users to have full knowledge of such rights to ascertain that the intended use does not infringe any copyright laws.
Copyright your work to protect your work.
Copyright Free Music
People often get confused and refer or search for 'non-copyright’ music but this is an incorrect term. The right term is ‘free-to-use-music’ or 'copyright free music'.
Non-copyrighted music or free-to-use-music is music that is not protected by copyright. This means that any person can use, perform, or sell the song since it is not registered under copyright laws. Common examples of non-copyrighted music include:
· Songs personally composed by individual or independent performers
· Informal 'jingles' or tunes composed for specific purposes
Songs associated with tradition or common use
Songs which are in the public domain
If a work is old enough, it is likely that the copyright protection for that work has ended and it will be considered in the public domain. The term “public domain” refers to creative materials that are not protected by intellectual property laws. The public owns these works, not an individual author or artist. Anyone can use a public domain work without obtaining permission, but no one can own it.
The same term of "non-copyrighted music" is "copyright-free music". Nowadays, many Youtubers try to seek for copyright-free music for their videos without being punished by Youtube for copyright infringement. The phrase "copyright-free" does not suit in this position, because whatever the distribution or license of music, the creator possesses his/her copyright on the music until its expiration. Therefore, "copyright-free" means that a piece of music could be downloaded freely without being tracked by the Youtube system. In other words, copyright-free music can be used freely in Youtubers' videos without getting copyright claims. In this case, the owner of copyright is offering you the right to copy his music for your purposes. Copyright-free music should be distinguished with Royalty-free Music. The term "Royalty-free" does not mean that the music is free of charge, but it means that you pay only once for the product and you can make use of it as long as you desire.
The Digital Millennium Copyright Act 1998 (DMCA) was established by Congress with an aim to implement treaty obligations of the United States. Congress complied with the WIPO treaties by enacting legislation to deal with treaty regulations that were not appropriately addressed under the current U.S. law, which helps to facilitate the improvement of electronic commerce in the digital age. Not only does DMCA deal with the issues of copyright infringement faced by internet users but it also reinforces punishments for offenders.
There were other proposals apart from the provisions adopted by Congress in 1998, including amendments to sections 109 and 117, which were not adopted, but were regarded as the subjects of many studies mandated under the Act. Pursuant to Section 104 of the Act, the Register of Copyrights and the Assistant Secretary for Communications and Information is required to report the impacts of the Act on the implementations of sections 109 and 117 and the connection between existing technology on the implementation of sections 109 and 117 of title 17 under the United States Code.
In terms of DMCA safe harbor, the Act supplies safe heaven to internet intermediaries and Online Service Providers (OSP) by protecting them from direct copyright infringement. Congress did approve four safe harbors, and there is a limitation to no copyright infringement responsibility for OSP in these cases, namely, system caching; information location tools; temporary digital network communication; and storing information at the user’s direction on system or network.
There are some international treaties that encourage the protection of copyright from country to country. They establish the standards of protection which each country then implements within the scope of its own copyright legislation.
The leading copyright convention is the Berne Convention for the Protection of Literary and Artistic Works ("Berne Convention"). The Berne Convention governs the protection of works and the rights of their owners. It is based on three basic principles and consists of provisions identifying the minimum protection to be granted and special provisions available to developing countries that want to use them as well. The three basic principles are the following: (a) Works originating in one of the Contracting States (that is, works the author of which is a national of such a State or works first published in such a State) must be given the same protection in each of the other Contracting States as the latter grants to the works of its own nationals (principle of "national treatment"); (b) Protection must not be conditional upon compliance with any formality (principle of "automatic" protection); (c) Protection is independent of the existence of protection in the country of origin of the work (principle of "independence" of protection). If, however, a Contracting State provides for a longer term of protection than the minimum prescribed by the Convention and the work ceases to be protected in the country of origin, protection may be denied once protection in the country of origin ceases. In terms of the minimum standards of protection, protection must include "every production in the literary, scientific and artistic domain, whatever the mode or form of its expression" (Article 2(1) of the Convention).
Another international treaty about copyright law is WIPO Copyright Treaty (WCT). The WIPO Copyright Treaty (WCT) is a special agreement under the Berne Convention that deals with the protection of works and the rights of their authors in the digital environment. Any Contracting Party (even if it is not bound by the Berne Convention) must comply with the substantive provisions of the 1971 (Paris) Act of the Berne Convention for the Protection of Literary and Artistic Works (1886). Furthermore, the WCT mentions two subject matters to be protected by copyright: (i) computer programs, whatever the mode or form of their expression; and (ii) compilations of data or other material ("databases"), in any form, which, by reason of the selection or arrangement of their contents, constitute intellectual creations. (Where a database does not constitute such a creation, it is outside the scope of this Treaty.)
In Europe, efforts are also made to harmonize copyright law, and this resulted in a number of regulations, including the 2001 Directive on Copyright in the Information Society. There are two main objectives within the Directive, namely, reflecting technological developments in copyright law in Europe and transposing into European law the provisions included in the two WIPO treaties of 1996.
The Copyright Designs & Patents Act, 1988 gives a copyright owner a ‘mechanical right’ to copy the work and the to issue copies of the work in public. Every time a work is copied, or a copy is issued to the public, royalties are generated from its licensing.
The Mechanical Copyright Licences Company Ltd (MECOLICO) was established in 1910 in anticipation of the Copyright Act 1911. Its purpose was to collect and distribute mechanical royalties due from the new gramophone companies. Shortly afterwards the Copyright Protection Society Ltd was founded and, in 1924, a merger of the two bodies resulted in the Mechanical-Copyright Protection Society Limited (MCPS). MCPS has been wholly owned by the Music Publishers' Association (MPA) since 1976.
The Mechanical-Copyright Protection Society (MCPS), established in 1924, is a non-profit organisation which currently represents several composers, songwriters and music publishers. MCPS is known as a collecting society because its main role is collecting money from music users in the UK who record music into TV and radio programmes, websites, feature films, CDs, records, and so on. MCPS collects royalties by issuing licences to music users in respect of the mechanical copyright in musical works. It acts on behalf of its members by negotiating agreements with those who wish to record and distribute product containing copyright musical works and collecting licence fees for this use. The money is subsequently distributed to its members as mechanical royalties.
Copyright your work to protect your work.
Infringement is known as the use of copyrighted work without the creator's authorization. This usually links to instances of copyright infringement, such as when music, artistic works, or literary works are utilized without the owner’s permission. Nevertheless, infringement can also involve other categories of intellectual property law, including trademarks and patents. Recently, infringement of domain name has also been a common legal dispute.
There can be several legal defenses to infringement based on the facts of the case available to the court. One common defense to infringement is known as the “consent.” It means that it may be regarded as a defense if it can be proved by the defendant that the plaintiff actually reached an agreement to the use of the work. This can be a convincing argument, especially if payment is supplied by the defendant for the usage. Another defense is that the trademark, copyright, or patent has come to expiration. These types of protections probably expire over time without the individual to recognize that the copyright has expired. As a result, the plaintiff may find it difficult to assert their legal rights in this case.
The copyright symbol, or copyright sign, © (a circled capital letter C for copyright), is the symbol used in copyright notices for works other than sound recordings. The use of the symbol is described by the Universal Copyright Convention. The symbol is widely recognized, but under the Berne Convention is no longer required to obtain a new copyright in most nations.
The sound recording copyright symbol is the symbol ℗ (the capital letter P enclosed by a circle), and is used to designate copyright in a sound recording.
The notice for visually perceptible copies should generally contain three elements together, or in close proximity to each other.
1. The symbol © (letter C in a circle); the word “Copyright”; or the abbreviation “Copr.”
2. The year of first publication.
3. The name of the copyright owner.
For example- © 2015 Twitter, Copyright © 2015 Apple Inc. All rights reserved., © 1997-2015 Netflix, Inc., © 2015 Instagram.
The elements for sound recordings generally require the same three elements, except the symbol is ℗ (the letter P in a circle) instead.
Intellectual Property Office
The Intellectual Property Office (IPO) is the official UK government body responsible for intellectual property (IP) rights including patents, designs, trademarks, and copyright. The IPO became the operating name of The Patent Office on 2 April 2007. The Patent Office was established in 1852 in order to grant patents, although the origins of the patent system date back a further 400 years. The IPO establishes an accessible intellectual property system in the UK, this helps to promote innovation and helps the economy and society to reap huge benefits from ideas and knowledge. They help people obtain the right type of protection for their invention or creation.
They possess ISO certification for the ISO 27001 for our IT security; ISO 14001 for our environmental management system; ISO 14001 for our environmental management system. In terms of patent documentation, they are certified to BS 10008 Standard, which is the British Standard outlining best practices for the implementation and operation of electronic data management systems, including the storage and transfer of data. Trade Marks and Designs are also seeking to gain the BS 10008 Standard shortly.
The IPO is responsible for IP policy, educating businesses and consumers about IP rights and responsibilities, supporting IP enforcement, and granting UK patents, trademarks, and design rights.